The backbone of Pastoral Care - the House and Tutor System

Pastoral care at Bishops is a vital partnership with parents in order to build what we believe are the essential foundation stones in an adolescent boy’s life. These include:

  1. A strong sense of self-esteem and self worth. It is vital to affirm each boy’s value and uniqueness and to promote interaction within our school that honours and values their developing pride, masculinity and opinion. A famous family counsellor once stated: “It’s better to build boys than to repair men”. The best way in which we as teachers and coaches can build self-esteem is to provide the opportunities to catch them doing things right!

  2. A spiritual foundation. Bishops is committed to promoting the role of a relevant and real spirituality in the lives of its boys. We are not unaware of the deep spiritual hunger and needs that this age long for and yet fails to find in the modern substitutes for spirituality. Boys have spirits as well as souls and minds, and we need to teach them that there is something higher than even the higher things of this world and that there is an education which belongs not merely to their time in school but to eternity. The school has recently redefined its own commitment to developing the spirituality of the Bishops family and this can be found in “The Statement on Spirituality” in the Bishops diary. All boys attend Chapel on four mornings of the week and have the opportunity to develop their own spirituality in a context that is safe and caring. A number of voluntary services also occur through the year. Parents are welcome at all services.

  3. A strong sense of boundaries. This comprises of two complimentary processes. Firstly there is the need to develop self-discipline in each boy. This means a developed sense of order, routine and structure within each boy that enables him to thrive in a busy and demanding school environment. The diary is a helpful tool in this regard. Secondly, there is a need to understand and respect the rules, traditions and values of the school and for them to be enforced in clear, consistent and firm manner. Equally, there is the need for boys to be confronted when the mark is over-stepped. These concepts of discipline and boundaries build both character and conscience in a young man.

  4. A maturing sense of emotional honesty. Our boys are growing up in a world of change, conflict and increasingly fragmented families and many seem incapable of expressing what’s going on inside of them. We are committed to helping our boys talk about their inner lives and to try and be honest about what they are experiencing and feeling. There is an ongoing need to stress that there are many ways to be a man, and that emotional courage is in fact courage and a real source of strength in life.

  5. A strong sense of personal competence. It is vital for our boys to develop a sense that they can do things well, achieve and contribute. A sense of competence has nothing to do with ability, but a real sense of being able to meaningfully contribute in any of the facets of school life. It comes when we trust them with appropriate responsibilities and allow them to make their own, unique contributions.